Do you find there are times you seem to be required to make loads of choices concerning the plethora of activities you’re involved with, all at the same time, or at least in rapid succession and at such times are inclined to indulge in a moment of panic, as the fearful sub-personality within rears its head and says you’ll never be able to make the right choices with so many to make at once?
Archives for January 2013
As the venerable Albert (Einstein) said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible but no simpler.”
And what could be as simple but no simpler than the notion of it being you, who invents reality as you see it and therefore you, who can reinvent it to look (and feel) how you want it to?
You ascribe the negative or positive tone to every thought you have. You generate the story of your life as you go along, according to the tone you’re creating. A sweet (relaxed, positive tone), induces a sweet, easy day. A sour (stressed, negative) tone, induces a sour, stressful day. And the external details will arrange themselves accordingly of themselves to fit that.
In other words, the mind makes a choice. The body-mind complex’s energy is instantaneously mobilised in that direction and external reality, the world of the ten thousand things, instantaneously reflects that back at you by reshaping itself accordingly.
Smile and the whole world smiles with you. Frown and you just get the whole world down. Not that one is necessarily more valuable than the other. There is always an admixture of the two – down and up, yin and yang – but the deal is to do what you can to ensure the balance is at least 51% in favour of the aspect that works for you best in the long run. So assuming you enjoy the sensation of up, of sweet, of easy and you feel that serves you in terms of gaining optimum value from being alive, do what you can to ensure you’re inventing a story of joy rather than of sorrow.
Stop holding or inhibiting your breath. Let it flow freely now, in and out, in and out.
Let your mind settle.
To attune yourself, take a moment to gaze around you and as your attention falls on one object after another, remind yourself, it’s you who have invented whatever story you associate with that object. Then turn your gaze inwards, perhaps closing your eyes to assist concentration and as fearful thoughts of whatever’s currently stressing you arise in your forebrain, remind yourself again that it’s you who have invented whatever story you associate with each.
Having attained some psychological distance between you and your thoughts, reinvent the story attached to each until you see a landscape that pleases and feels safe to you, one in which you can walk in peace and comfort, fully yourself, fully realised and fully operational in all respects.
You may notice, at this point, your rational mind throwing up resistance thoughts, along the lines of you not quite having what it takes on some level to actually be able to muster this reality-reinvention power for real and that you’re somehow deluding yourself, so should really shut up and carry on being a victim of the world you see.
Merely thank your rational mind for playing devil’s advocate and continue investing in the picture you want to see. Then, as I said, your energy will be mobilised in that direction and the external realm will start to instantaneously reflect that back at you – and the details will rearrange themselves accordingly, affording you as splendid a time as you fancy having – the limits are up to you, as in how high you like to fly, wind currents and air pressure taken into consideration.
And what could be simpler than that?
Albert would be happy.
Have a beautiful weekend ahead, during which you are veritably stunned by the elegance with which life unfolds before your very eyes.
They’ve determined in the States that neurological disease is far more widespread than previously assumed – for instance as many as one in a thousand Americans have MS and as many as one in a hundred have Parkinsons. One assumes this isn’t restricted to the USA and it leads us back to the basic question of healing: in this high-stress world, in which disease is so easily triggered, can the mind heal the body, no matter the condition, providing the condition is attended to at an early enough stage to change?
When I started practicing as a doctor of Chinese medicine in ’83, I was convinced this was the case. As I continued and found myself treating people with the clearest, most focused and positive minds imaginable, yet who were nonetheless suffering irreversible effects of illness, my confidence in the mind’s power to heal the body wavered. Now, years after relinquishing my practice to concentrate on spreading the self-help message instead and thus, having had ample time to consider it, I have to say I haven’t a clue and wouldn’t dare to presume I did have a clue, however I still can’t help sticking to the notion on an intuitive level, proposed by the ancient Taoists, that if you can gain command of the central region of your brain, as it were, if you can psycho-physically gather and organise your consciousness approximately where your upper brainstem meets the base of your brain, you can in fact heal your body of all ills.
On the other hand, experience teaches humility, which is why I wouldn’t presume to declare that to be a given fact. I simply don’t know.
Nonetheless, I personally live by it and from that place can recommend it as a strategy.
By the same token, enlightened wisdom consists in desisting from identifying with the body in the first place. You are not your body, in other words. With this comes compassionate detachment. You stop taking yourself so personally on a physical level, so are better poised to be peaceful within, even while the physical form gradually disintegrates, as all physical forms must eventually. It’s a cruel trick but ultimately a loving one.
Nothing remains the same, yet nothing is ever lost. All is energy. When the energy leaves one form, it instantly finds another.
However, energy is also the key to maintaining the physical form in optimum health, which is why the centre-brain approach works. You’ll notice, if you relax, breathe slowly, close your eyes and gather your consciousness in the centre brain region, your body below experiencing varying degrees of energy surges and tingles and when you open your eyes again, that your entire person is refreshed and revitalised.
If you happen to be suffering from a physical complaint, while your eyes are closed, you might also find great value in visualising a mysterious light with healing properties circulating in the affected region or system, like an elixir bathing all the relevant cells, making them new and making them well.
People have been known to meditate even bone cancer into total remission in this way, so it’s well worth experimenting with.
However meditation only really delivers, not just in terms of self-healing but also in terms of peace of mind, clarity and focus, if practiced every day, for at least five minutes – twenty or more if possible, as the effects are cumulative. This, because the mind-body relationship needs training and training only works through repetition. (Training only works through repetition).
And on that on, on that note, I will bid you a fine day and night, during which you experience the full delight of being alive, no matter the extent of your current travails.
When potentially stressful situations arise, you have options.
You can commit to the drama of being stressed and succumb to the essentially self-pitying stance of this-shouldn’t-be-happening-to-me, if you feel doing so will give you a good rush and enhance your sense of being fully alive.
Or you can choose to welcome whatever external stress factors arise as poignant reminders you’re alive and to rejoice in that simple yet ineffable fact.
According to the immutable universal law of alternating light and shade, known as yang and yin, respectively in Taoist philosophy, every instance of life must comprise a blend of the two – every cloud has a sliver lining and every silver lining has a cloud – and to place all your investment of energy and faith in just one of them is symptomatic of being disassociated from reality.
Indeed to fully imbibe of the fruit juice of life in each and every moment, you must welcome the strain, pain, stress and mess, along with the pleasure in equal measure with every step along the way. To do otherwise would be to deny at least half of your precious existence, which when it comes to the nub, is all you really have, so to waste any amount of it is way beyond daftness.
By being daring enough to trust the underlying informative thrust of existence, the Tao, for want of a better expression, to be benign, by being bold enough to assume the existential stance that the path will deliver you to a state of perfect happiness, come what may, you can afford to relax and allow the world of the ten thousand things to present both its dark face and its light and treat both as triggers for your delight (at being here to experience being here).
That way you lay claim to 100% of your life and no longer need cling so ferociously and exclusively to the pleasant aspects, thus draining away your energy resisting and fearing the unpleasant aspects.
Life is good. I think we can agree on that without much thought. Life comprises both pleasant and unpleasant aspects – yin and yang. Therefore, according to the fundaments of simple logic, both pleasant and unpleasant are good and, hence worthy of equal gratitude and grace.
Breathing slowly and uninterruptedly encourages maintaining this cheerful outlook, as does regularly reminding yourself you’re choosing to trust life to be benign and therefore to greet all eventualities as mechanisms devised by Big You for shunting you to precisely where you need to be to enjoy your perfect happiness.
In other, far more succinct words, as my late friend and teacher, RD Laing always said, “It’s a fine life as long as you don’t let the bastards grind you down.”
You are not here to live out other peoples’ expectations.
You are not here to live other peoples’ stories.
You are here to be you.
You are here to live your own truth.
And only you need know what that is.
Only you can know what that is.
And while it may seem impossible for you to live your truth, for fear of letting others down, should you choose to go that route, which after all is the only way to self-realisation, and should you choose it with all your heart, the Tao, Big You, who informs the entirety of existence including all the micro-events of each of our lives and the way these intertwine with the micro-events of everyone else’s lives, will cause it to come to pass in the most surprisingly elegant way for everyone concerned.
That’s the way the Taoist magic works. It’s called wu wei and involves merely making an intention, letting the intention be known by your deepest self, regardless of whether it makes perfect sense to your rational mind or not, and then letting go and allowing life to unravel that way of its own accord, which it will do if you let it – and the result will be, what we on the ground here, call a miracle – a quantum shift of circumstances that all but takes your breath away.
Talking of which, your breath is the most direct handle you have on your existential and psycho-emotional state as you work, rest and play in the land of the everyday.
By slowing it down, you slow down the raging thoughts in your forebrain. By making it smooth and silken, you make your thoughts and feelings smooth and silken. By deepening it, letting your belly swell on the inhalation and flatten on the exhalation, you deepen your moment-by-moment experience. By evening the duration of in-breath and –out, you balance the measure of what you receive from the world, by way of sustenance in all respects, with the amount you give it, in any one moment. Let your breath be silent and your mind and energy will be silent likewise. Allow your breath to flow freely in and out and your life and all the events and situations comprising it, will flow freely too.
So stop holding your breath immediately, as that just jams up the flow of life in all respects and start allowing to move freely, silently, deeply, evenly, smoothly and silkenly in and out of your lungs, from now on.
Or don’t - it’s entirely up to you. If you enjoy unnecessary stress and strain and it helps make you feel more alive in some way, continue to inhibit and hold your breath,
As I said at the top, you’re not here to make others happy.
However, by making yourself happy, which is done by tuning into and following your own truth, something facilitated by breathing freely and fully, thus keeping you firmly within your skin, you tend to instigate a set of conditions, whereby everyone in your orbit feels happier too. Genuine happiness breeds genuine happiness, in other words.
Breathing freely now, tell yourself, ‘I am here to live my own life-story and I’m choosing to live it, love and ride it for all it’s worth now, come what may,’ and carry on as you were.
May you have a day and night of such powerful self-determination, you find yourself able, on happening to gaze at your own reflection in a mirror, to spontaneously say, ‘when I look in the mirror, I like what I see.’